Share the Road

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  • RossweisseRossweisse 8th Day Host, Hell Host
    Oh, Dixon, boyhood home of Ronald Reagan, and not exactly a hotbed of cosmopolitan sophistication. Still, I take your point: It was a deeply stupid decision on the driver's part.
  • Kill someone $81 fine. The infrastructure to keep cyclists safe priceless. https://www.nsnews.com/news/north-vancouver-man-charged-in-cyclist-s-dooring-death-1.23882978
  • Well, that just sucks.
  • RossweisseRossweisse 8th Day Host, Hell Host
    That's horrible. I trust the penalty will be more than $81, by several orders of magnitude.
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    That's horrible. I trust the penalty will be more than $81, by several orders of magnitude.


    There will be no criminal charges. The driver has been charged with "unsafely opening the door of a vehicle" for which the MAXIMUM fine is $81 (approx. $62 US dollars). The victim surcharge, applied to all fines levied by the province, is the amount of the fine times 0.15, rounded to the nearest dollar. However, the victim surcharge can be waived by the judge if that extra $12 turns out to be an undue hardship for the offender.


    Mr. McIntosh was a regular cycle commuter, so I'm sure he always wore a helmet (500 g of plastic vs. a 20-ton double-trailer dump truck lol) but I would also bet he probably rolled through a fair number of stop signs in his life. On the day he was killed, and every other day, lots of cyclists ride without helmets and run stop signs and annoy drivers and live to see another day. Now do you all see why I don't give a fuck about either from a public-policy standpoint? And why I think educating drivers on how to open a fucking door might just save more lives than wasting police and court resources ticketing those renegade scofflaw cyclists with a death wish running stop signs while not wearing helmets?







  • I commend the Dutch Reach to our regular readers.
  • On a personal level, however, I do like to greet un-helmeted cyclists with a cheery, "Hope you registered as an organ donor!" Wearing earbuds or playing with a cell phone gets you a "Double organ donor!" shout-out. Riding at night with no lights is "TRIPLE ORGAN DONOR!!!" status.



  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate



    Mr. McIntosh was a regular cycle commuter, so I'm sure he always wore a helmet (500 g of plastic vs. a 20-ton double-trailer dump truck lol) but I would also bet he probably rolled through a fair number of stop signs in his life. On the day he was killed, and every other day, lots of cyclists ride without helmets and run stop signs and annoy drivers and live to see another day. Now do you all see why I don't give a fuck about either from a public-policy standpoint? And why I think educating drivers on how to open a fucking door might just save more lives than wasting police and court resources ticketing those renegade scofflaw cyclists with a death wish running stop signs while not wearing helmets?

    You could say the same, however, about car seatbelts. Why bother enforcing seatbelt or restraint laws in cars if drivers and passengers are stupid enough not to observe them?

    And if a driver hasn't gone through a proper course of education in how to use their vehicle and observe the rules of the road, including when it's safe to leave the car, they wouldn't have a licence, would they? However, they may choose not to observe everything they've learnt, or may be careless or lazy, or distracted.

    Added to which; it's not just drivers who open car doors, but their passengers, too. I'm sure more than a few cyclists have been the victims of passenger stupidity, too (including very young passengers not noted for making mature judgements).

    It's not a case of either/or - but both/and. Continue the education, the reminding people what they should've learnt the first time round and forgot or can't be arsed to remember. And prepare their potential victims to be less of a victim when the inevitable happens and someone gets hurt, when there are accidents. It's just cyclists are so damn vulnerable.

    I do like your 'organ donor' challenge, though! And more seriously, I do wish that deaths caused as a result of the carelessness of drivers was taken properly seriously by the government and the legislature, and that this was reflected in properly serious sentencing and penalties.

  • On a personal level, however, I do like to greet un-helmeted cyclists with a cheery, "Hope you registered as an organ donor!" Wearing earbuds or playing with a cell phone gets you a "Double organ donor!" shout-out. Riding at night with no lights is "TRIPLE ORGAN DONOR!!!" status.
    I greet such cheery helmet-splaining with some effing-splaining of my own, like suggesting they actually pay attention to factual, rational information, and keep their moral judgements to themselves. No doubt you do this from a car? Where you definitely should wear a helmet! Irrational human you! Have a read of this, the author is Finnish but the article is in good English. https://www.kaupunkifillari.fi/blog/2019/03/31/rethinking-safety/

    Helmet-splainers are not actually promoting safety, but they are promoting safety on a condition that the car traffic will not be affected.

    Depending on what kind of cyclist and where the person is cycling, individual safety may be improved, e.g., aggressive and fast cycling by early teenagers over rough ground and doing jumps. I wear a helmet in the winter though mostly because I have front and rear lights on it. I've fallen from a bicycle in the winter a few times. Never hit my head because it was a snow on top of ice situation, no car involved. Many of us find that winter cycling is safer because car drivers are scared of hurting us. They are not fearful of us in the summer. And they pass more closely and grow very impatient if taking up a full lane because close passing would endanger us.
  • Anselmina wrote: »
    And if a driver hasn't gone through a proper course of education in how to use their vehicle and observe the rules of the road, including when it's safe to leave the car, they wouldn't have a licence, would they?

    I laugh in your general direction. Standards of training for new drivers vary quite a lot.

    I have a UK driving licence, and also a license from the US state in which I live. The UK test was considerably harder. The person ahead of me in the queue when I took my US test was a child who was unable to successfully extract their car from the parking space. Clearly they didn't pass, but still...
  • NOprophet_NØprofit , you're funny. As a matter of personal choice, I always wear a helmet for cycling and roller skating. As a matter of public policy, I thought I'd been pretty clear on this thread that I oppose helmet laws and I think that policing resources should be targeted at the operators of motor vehicles that kill people every day, everywhere, so often we hardly even notice.

    I've been driving since 1978 but have never actually owned a motor vehicle. I yell mostly from the sidewalk, since I travel mainly by bus and bike and the occasional Evo. Honestly, most of my road commentary is directed at careless or aggressive drivers because there's so damn many of them.
  • I've owned cars since a '63 VW Beetle in which I had all my earthly belongings and slept in the back seat. Which looked really funny with a 18 foot Grumman canoe on its roof. I had to get another car if there were going to be two sleeping in the backseat, though sleeping wasn't really the priority.

    Sidewalk yeller? I would stop and talk to you if you yelled at me. I talk to everyone, it's how introverts behave sometimes when they're happy. Yuppers, it would be all positive and happy. Because that is what cycling does, makes me happy, even with slower moving happier commuters who cannot shut up on the sidewalks. Note to self: always keep bicycle between you and hothead yelling at you. Ask where his/her bicycle is.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    Anselmina wrote: »
    And if a driver hasn't gone through a proper course of education in how to use their vehicle and observe the rules of the road, including when it's safe to leave the car, they wouldn't have a licence, would they?

    I laugh in your general direction. Standards of training for new drivers vary quite a lot.

    I have a UK driving licence, and also a license from the US state in which I live. The UK test was considerably harder. The person ahead of me in the queue when I took my US test was a child who was unable to successfully extract their car from the parking space. Clearly they didn't pass, but still...

    Quite. I agree with the point you're making and laugh in my own general direction, too!

    I was just addressing the idea that 'drivers should be educated etc', as if this was a new idea and nobody goes through a course of instruction or an examination before they get their license.

    I know I'd probably never pass the current UK test without a LOT of study and practice, despite being a driver of about 35 years standing. But I still know how to look before opening my car door after parking (can't speak for my passengers, of course!). I'm afraid applying drivers' education will always come down to each individual driver's predisposition to make the effort. If I were a cyclist that would be a big reason for me to adopt as many safeguards as possible, on my own part!

    But I come from the stone-age era where the license was still a little blue booklet with the words 'Care, Courtesy, Consideration' cursively inscribed on the inside of the cover!
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    I was taught to look before opening the car door, but I later learned that I have to look while opening it. I looked, the cyclist went by, and I opened the door, knocking down the second cyclist. Though I should have realized there would be another, as young missionaries always come in pairs. Fortunately the only damage was to the car window.
  • Ruth wrote: »
    I was taught to look before opening the car door, but I later learned that I have to look while opening it. I looked, the cyclist went by, and I opened the door, knocking down the second cyclist. Though I should have realized there would be another, as young missionaries always come in pairs. Fortunately the only damage was to the car window.

    Amazing that the missionary on the second bicycle was saved from death or injury by a miracle and that that this didn't extend to your motherloving window. Praise the Lord and pass the gasoline!
  • The RogueThe Rogue Shipmate
    Mr. McIntosh was a regular cycle commuter, so I'm sure he always wore a helmet (500 g of plastic vs. a 20-ton double-trailer dump truck lol) but I would also bet he probably rolled through a fair number of stop signs in his life. On the day he was killed, and every other day, lots of cyclists ride without helmets and run stop signs and annoy drivers and live to see another day. Now do you all see why I don't give a fuck about either from a public-policy standpoint? And why I think educating drivers on how to open a fucking door might just save more lives than wasting police and court resources ticketing those renegade scofflaw cyclists with a death wish running stop signs while not wearing helmets?

    I'm going to call you on that one. I am a regular commuter and I also ocasionally go for a fun ride at the weekend. I do wear a helmet (my choice - you do what you want) but I do not roll through stop signs, I do not annoy drivers and I do not have a death wish. I ride with consideration and respect for all road users.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Admin
    edited July 2019
    The Rogue wrote: »
    I'm going to call you on that one. I am a regular commuter and I also ocasionally go for a fun ride at the weekend. I do wear a helmet (my choice - you do what you want) but I do not roll through stop signs, I do not annoy drivers and I do not have a death wish. I ride with consideration and respect for all road users.

    Newsflash. Some drivers don't care how carefully you ride, or what you wish for. They won't even see you. Altering your behaviour has only marginal gains. Altering theirs has huge ones. Changing the infrastructure, likewise.
  • The RogueThe Rogue Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    I'm sure that's true. What I'm responding to is the assertion that I ride in all sorts of unsafe and/or illegal and/or inconsiderate ways just because I commute regularly.
  • I'm sure no one with any common sense would assert that. However, the assertion that you can ride precisely within both the letter and spirit of the law and be just as likely to die on your morning commute as someone who breaks all the rules is more or less proven.
  • The RogueThe Rogue Shipmate
    As someone did assert I cycle poorly I called them on it. Thank you for adding your voice to mine by saying they have no common sense. I agree that cycling in my style is no guarantee of survival.
  • There should be a special place in hell for cretins who decide to go down a single-track-with-passing-places lane, on a hill, with multiple bends (all clearly notified before you turn into said lane) as lead vehicle of a convoy of 5 cars with large caravans :rage:

    A farming friend with a field accessible from said lane finally arrived on foot and opened the gate so they could turn into his field, at the same time sending a tractor via another field to go up the lane to keep traffic out so they could go back. Some poor s*ds had been stuck behind the mayhem for over an hour.

  • RocinanteRocinante Shipmate
    edited April 24
    So, I'm out on my bike, taking my allowed-under-lockdown-rules exercise in my lunch break from working at home, and I'm riding along a road by the local park, which is popular with walkers and joggers. They are having problems socially distancing, because the pavement (sidewalk) is barely 2 metres wide anyway and Bloody Motorists have halved that by parking on the pavement along almost the entire length of the road. Therefore people are walking and jogging in the road. Not a problem, as traffic is light, one of the few silver linings to this godawful cloud we're all under. It means that I'm riding closer to the centre line than the edge of the road (or rather the parked cars obscuring the edge of the road). I'm doing about 20 mph, as it's a long level road and I'm reasonably fit. The limit varies between 20 and 30 as it's a residential area with a school and a playpark.

    Cue loud honking and flashing of lights behind me, followed by a silver-and-rust coloured Astra with a defective silencer and an oil-burning problem passing me WAY too close. As far as I can gather from the passenger's expletive-filled rant, I should be riding on the left and mowing down all the socially distancing pedestrians, not preventing decent motorists from breaking the speed limit.

    Two lots of motoring gits on display here: Those who routinely transform pedestrian infrastructure into car parks and those who can't be delayed two seconds when hurtling between their essential appointments by someone travelling a little slower than them. I can only hope that our local authority starts emulating those sensible ones who have started closing roads to motor vehicles "for the duration".

  • Couldn't do that here. You're bound to find a doctor or nurse (or grocery worker, etc.) in every street. And our set-up means they can't get to work without cars.
  • Which works so well for people without the ability to afford cars.

    There are quite a number of "open streets" cities where lengthy routes have some lanes closed to cars to people can get to and from where they need to go.
  • Which works so well for people without the ability to afford cars.

    yes, dude, we totally built US cities to spite you. Sheesh.
  • Hey, I'm not talking about your things only. People are not taking transit because they're scared. They are walking down sidewalks which don't allow for 2 metre / 6 foot distancing, and are forced into car traffic lanes which have much less traffic. We're talking some thousands of people every morning, like the children of Israel in long lines in the desert walking down streets where they cannot avoid each others' space. But they're not going to the promised land.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I am really enjoying cycling with less traffic on the road ( the country is in lockdown). It's great to see families out together enjoying the autumn sun.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    There are quite a number of "open streets" cities where lengthy routes have some lanes closed to cars to people can get to and from where they need to go.

    Where? Any in North America? What constitutes "quite a number"?
  • edited April 26
    -Oakland California 74 miles
    -New York did 4 streets https://abc7ny.com/nyc-streets-closed-to-traffic-coronavirus-new-york-news-updates/6052003/
    -Winnipeg and Vancouver in Canada.
    -quite a number on the European continent. Paris: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2020/04/22/paris-to-create-650-kilometers-of-pop-up-corona-cycleways-for-post-lockdown-travel/amp/

    Do a search on open streets and covid together for more links and info.

    Further American info re NACTO recommendations here: https://usa.streetsblog.org/2020/03/31/ten-nacto-endorsed-ways-every-city-should-respond-to-covid-19-on-its-streets/ (National Association of City Transportation Officials)

    The point is to give people reasonable ability to be outside and to go places, not just hangout, not cluster, and to be appropriately distant from each other.

    I'm on a community board. We're focused on vulnerable people and making my small city livable for all. So far our city council told us we're wrong to even discuss the issues and they rejected our massively signed open letter. We think maybe we've started a conversation, he tries to reframe.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Portland Oregon essentially has "open streets" downtown at this point. Went for a ride through downtown with friends while they picked up something, and while there was the occasional car, for the most part we - and other bikers - had the lanes to ourselves.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    -Oakland California 74 miles
    This is pretty impressive, especially when you look at the map.
    Nope - the mayor called this off.
    Winnipeg and Vancouver in Canada
    And Calgary. But not Toronto, which is a place I'd imagine really, really needs it.
    Yeah, but they're not super car-centric the way North America tends to be.
    Do a search on open streets and covid together for more links and info.
    I did - and found a lot more calls for this than examples of places doing it. Sadly. And of course.
    The point is to give people reasonable ability to be outside and to go places, not just hangout, not cluster, and to be appropriately distant from each other.

    I'm on a community board. We're focused on vulnerable people and making my small city livable for all. So far our city council told us we're wrong to even discuss the issues and they rejected our massively signed open letter. We think maybe we've started a conversation, he tries to reframe.

    It makes me insane that we're supposed to use our tiny sidewalks - which in most places here are about 5 feet wide - when cars get so much space and the beach is closed. We're all crammed onto the sidewalks and little parks right next to the miles-long beach in a city named Long Beach.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Ruth wrote: »
    -Oakland California 74 miles
    This is pretty impressive, especially when you look at the map.
    Nope - the mayor called this off.

    And I read in the NY Times today that the mayor will now close 40 miles of streets to vehicle traffic.

    Time for me to lean on my city council representative, I guess!
  • Meanwhile the American woman who fled the UK after killing a young man is wanted on an Interpol warrant. Not that she's likely to travel soon. https://twitter.com/LisaSkyNews/status/1259867335378243584?s=20
  • Report from a news outlet rather than a journalists Twitter feed.
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